Las Vegas: Biffle qualifying interview

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 3rd) YOU MUST BE FEELING PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW. "Actually, truth be known, I feel terrible. I had a car to qualify on the pole here and any driver is disappointed when he doesn't...

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

YOU MUST BE FEELING PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW.

"Actually, truth be known, I feel terrible. I had a car to qualify on the pole here and any driver is disappointed when he doesn't live up to what he thinks he can do and what the car can do, but I'm really happy to start third here I guess. I'm still kind of beating myself up and probably will half the night because of that small mistake I made over there. Ryan said he was watching on TV and I had him beat until I got right over there (in turn three). I got a little bit loose in the center and probably was trying too hard. I was trying for too much. I should have slowed it up just a little bit more getting in that corner and I had it. Hey, I can't complain with third. The National Guard team is working really hard and they've given me great race cars. Now it's my turn to live up to driving them to the front and keeping them there."

ROUSH HAS WON 5 OF 7. IS IT YOUR TURN SUNDAY?

"I hope so. Las Vegas hasn't been good to me in a Nextel Cup car. I qualified eighth last year and twentysome laps in we lost an engine, but we're hoping to have a better run here on Sunday. We think we can for sure. We don't think we're as fast as we were at California, but, of course, it's a different format. Happy hour is tomorrow, so I don't know how my car is in race trim. I know in qualifying trim it's pretty decent. I feel it's the fastest car here, so we'll see tomorrow afternoon."

THIRD HERE TODAY, BUT DOES IT MAKE YOU THINK BACK TO THE FIRST TIME YOU CAME HERE IN A CUP CAR?

"It's something I think about all the time - that our team just failed to provide a good enough car to make the field with. It's just what it boils down to. This is Kyle Busch's first time here in a Cup car and he qualifies fourth. It's not the driver, it's the equipment you're driving and we were just unprepared when we came here in 2003, and we're prepared now."

DID YOU FIND SOMETHING IN PRACTICE TO GIVE YOU SOME OPTIMISM FOR A TOP 5 ON SUNDAY?

"I'd like to answer that the best I can, but that question is really for Doug. After we tested poorly here, which 15th or 20th, I don't know where we were at because timing and scoring wasn't working, but we weren't the fastest car. They went back to the drawing board back at the shop and worked hard on why we weren't as good as we were. We found some stuff that Mark Martin was doing that we felt would help our race car some. We found some stuff right at the end of the test that made our car turn better in the center that we didn't get a chance to really do some more testing with because it was right at the end of the day. So they worked hard on some of those things and brought it back and it's a lot better. So, yes, we did find some things that I feel we might be a top 5 car now, but the telltale is tomorrow in race trim. Where do we stack up. This car feels like it's backing up faster. What I mean by that is one lap it's fast and the next lap it's not so fast and the next lap it's kind of slow. The California car didn't do that. It was fast, fast, fast lap after lap. Qualifying and racing are so different still when you're in this format. You don't really know until tomorrow what I've got for Sunday."

WHERE DID YOU BOBBLE?

"Down there in three and four. I probably carried a little bit too much speed in it. Elliott and I were talking about it out there on the grid before we went out and qualified the Busch car that the track picked up a lot of speed. It cooled down a bunch and there was a lot of grip and we got across one and two so much faster that we were going down the backstretch two or three miles an hour faster than we had been. I tried to carry that speed into three and four and it just didn't work."

HOW MUCH WERE YOU BACKING OFF IN THREE AND FOUR?

"It's what we call roll the car across the center, so the less brake I use and the longer I stay on the throttle and the slower I come off the throttle, obviously, the faster I'm gonna be going when I'm turning down in there and trying to go across the center. It's within a mile an hour or two of speed that the car will stick or won't stick, so you just have to know what that threshold is and be right there, but not be over it and not be too far under it to where you say, 'Gee, I wish I would have went a little bit faster,' and missed the pole by a little bit."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin